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Photo Credit: ATIA, Matt Hage

Southcentral Snow Tour

Southcentral Snow Tour

Winter in Alaska means snow. Get out and play like the locals with this five-day itinerary that includes a stop at Alaska’s top winter festival, Fur Rendezvous, plus skiing and snowmobiling adventures in the Mat-Su Valley and Valdez.

Day 1: Anchorage

Time your visit to take advantage of Anchorage’s liveliest winter festival: Fur Rendezvous, a 10-day celebration of all things fur and frolic. Events include sled dog races, carnival rides, a snow-sculpting competition, an Alaska Native arts market, and zany athletic events like outhouse races and the Running of the Reindeer, in which humans and reindeer sprint through downtown streets together.

Day 2: Hatcher Pass & Palmer or Wasilla

Make the 40-mile drive north to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the alpine beauty of Hatcher Pass. Once home to a booming gold mine, this area is a popular winter destination for sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowmobiling or as we call it in Alaska, "snowmachining."

On your way back to Anchorage, drive through either Palmer, a former New Deal-era agricultural colony filled with interesting history, or Wasilla, where you can visit the headquarters of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Day 3: Valdez

Take a regional flight to Valdez, a true winter city that is annually blanketed in more than 300 inches of snow. Check out the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive and its exhibits that reflect the history of Valdez, the Copper River Valley, and Prince William Sound. Don’t miss the museum annex, which contains dioramas depicting the growth of Old Town Valdez before it was all but obliterated by the magnitude-9.2 Good Friday Earthquake of 1964.

Day 4: Valdez

Explore the coastal mountains that give Valdez its nickname of “Little Switzerland” on a full-day guided snowmobile adventure or, if you have the skills, take to the air for a heli-skiing adventure on terrain that regularly appears in big adventure films. After a heart-pounding day in the great outdoors, feast on locally caught seafood in one of Valdez’s many restaurants.

Day 5: Anchorage

Fly back to Anchorage. Grab lunch and stop in at at least two museums—the Anchorage Museum and its Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, the Alaska Native Heritage Center for insights into the state's diverse Alaska Native cultures, or the Alaska Aviation Museum for a look at how brave pilots and tough planes shaped Alaska’s history—before you start your journey home.


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